Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 14 May 2021 03:08
Noon Position: 30 57.7 S 156 00.8 E
Course WNW Speed 4 knots
Wind: SSW, F6 Sea: moderate Swell: SW, 2 meters
Weather: mostly sunny, mild
Day’s Run: 107 nm

As expected, the wind has backed round into the SW and freshened. We are now close hauled (or what is close hauled for old Sylph in these conditions) on the port tack, having tacked at 1615 yesterday, and are punching into a sizable sea. By sunrise this morning we were down to two reefs in the main, a scrap of jib, and the staysail. Not surprisingly, with the fresh wind and mounting seas the ride has gotten a little bouncy, with Sylph occasionally launching herself of a wave and coming down on the other side with a crash. Fortunately, as far as I can tell, nothing has broken yet – I haven’t checked the eggs. Oli was attempting to eat some hard tack when we fell off one wave but fortunately I was standing right by him at the time and caught him before he flew across the saloon. Since then, he has wisely retired to the settee berth, which is now on the leeward side and much more comfortable than when Sylph is on the other tack.

Despite the strong foul (ie well forward of the beam) breeze, we are making reasonable progress. I have given the authorities an ETA of 1000 Monday. If all goes well, we should be off Coffs Harbour sometime Sunday night, in which case we will stand off until daylight. However, looking at the weather fax, a front is coming up the coast and I expect the wind might veer more into the west which will slow our progress down somewhat. We shall just have to see what happens.

Interestingly, we passed another sailing vessel last night, the ‘Tere’ according to the AIS, heading in the opposite direction. I tried hailing her on VHF to have a chat but she clearly wasn’t in a sociable mood as she did not respond. I was curious as to where she was heading. There can’t be too many sailing vessels crossing oceans at the moment.

As for whether the authorities are going to let us back into Australia without quarantine, that remains a work in progress.

All is well.